ANSWER: There does seem to be a difference between these two very important books. Let’s look first at what the scriptures say about the book of life, or the book of the living. This book would include all those who have ever lived. We have the first mention of this book in Exodus 32:31-33. That says, “And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin–; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written. And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.” Moses, in his intercessory work for the children of Israel, is seeking the Lord’s forgiveness for the sins of the people. If the Lord would not forgive, then Moses asks the Lord to blot his name out of the Lord’s book. This seems to be in reference to Moses’ natural, physical life. This is confirmed by reading Numbers 11:15, where Moses is under great stress from the burden of leading all the Israelites. There he says, “And if thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray thee, out of hand, if I have found favour in thy sight; and let me not see my wretchedness.” Here we see that to blot one’s name out of the book is to take one’s life. King David, in great despair of his enemies prayed in Psalms 69:28, “Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.” It seems logical to say here that these ungodly men had their names in the book of life, along with righteous men. David asked the Lord to blot their names out of His book, or to take away their lives.
Let’s look at one more reference concerning the book of life. Revelation 3:5 tells us, “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” Who are those that overcome? 1 John 5:5 says, “Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Yahushua is the Son of God?” To the overcomers, or the believers, there is the promise that their names will never be blotted out of the book of life. For the believer, while our earthly lives may come to an end, our life is not over and our names are not blotted out of the book of life. There are those who do not believe on the Lord Yahushua Mashiach. At death, their names will be blotted out of the book of life because their physical lives are over and they have no spiritual life.
There are those who will live forever; those who have eternal life because of their faith in the Lord Yahushua Mashiach. These have their names written in the Lamb’s book of life, of which there is no mention of anyone having his name blotted out. Revelation 21:27 shows that true believers will occupy the new Heaven. That says, “And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” There will come a day when even those who have rejected the Lord Yahushua will have to bow before Him and give homage to Him. Revelation 13:8 says, “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”
In general, all those who are living have their names in the book of life, or the book of the living. Upon death, the unbelievers’ names are blotted out of this book. Those who have trusted in the Lord Yahushua Mashiach as their Lord and savior have their names written in the Lamb’s book of life. Their names will never be blotted out of that book. We have the wonderful assurance of the Lord’s words in John 10:27-29, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.”